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DU30’s support for veterans hailed

Mario J. Mallari



Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for his support to veterans, citing the administration’s moves to develop the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) into a first-class hospital.

Among other things, Lorenzana cited the “generous support” of Duterte to the VMMC to help improve its services. In December last year, Duterte gave P100 million to VMMC and vowed to provide additional donation to improve its services.

He added that the President wants the medical center to provide free medicines to its patients.

“VMMC’s problem now is that they have too much money they don’t know where to spend it.

But hopefully, before the President leaves office, VMMC would have been totally transformed into a first-class hospital,” Lorenzana said during the 77th Supreme Council Meeting of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP).

Lorenzana bared that soon, angioplasty treatment and angiogram diagnostic procedure would be available to veterans with hypertension and heart ailments.

To sustain the modernization push for the VMMC, Lorenzana said the Department of National Defense is also planning to lease a golf course owned by the VFP via joint ventures to provide additional funds for medicine and the hospital.

VMMC’s problem now is that they have too much money.

“I think if we can do that during the term of the President, and if we can improve the Veteran’s Center in Taguig, that’s where we can get money for medicine every year and we won’t have to ask for funding from the government,” Lorenzana said.

Likewise, Lorenzana credited the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, headed by Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina, for the much-improved services to the veterans.

“This is an affirmation that improvements or successes can be achieved through cooperation, partnership, mutual help and shared vision,” he said.

At the same time, Lorenzana expressed optimism that the new leadership could bring about needed reforms in the federation.

He noted that after more than 20 years of resisting change, the VFP finally has a new president, retired Justice Manuel Pamaran. A World War II veteran, Pamaran was designated to the post pursuant to Department Order (DO) 184, signed by the DND chief on 24 May.

The DO also directed the VFP to submit a revised election code and revised rules of governance for his approval.

In accordance with DO 193 dated 28 May 2018, the VFP also appointed new executives and management officials led by retired Lt. Gen. Raul Urgello as executive vice president.

Lorenzana said that he trusts that the installation of the new VFP leadership is a big step towards making it a strong organization that truly represents the Filipino veterans’ community.

He said the ongoing efforts to resolve the existing weaknesses and limitations of the federation and its rank and file by instituting immediate corrective and preventive measures are already bearing fruit.

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